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Tips and Tricks > SMBs, get thee to the cloud!

SMBs, get thee to the cloud!

31 July 2012

For many small business owners, the office is wherever they happen to be. That’s why the cloud should be a no-brainer for small and mid-sized businesses, says Johannesburg IT solutions provider Introstat.

Not only do SMB owners get anywhere, anytime access to all the information they need to run their businesses, but it’s hassle-free technology, says Introstat’s Kerry Hope: you can be up and running in a matter of minutes, plus there’s no need to worry about maintenance or upgrades, since these are delivered automatically.

“Companies are saving tens of thousands of rands in up-front costs by moving to cloud-based solutions for e-mail, Web hosting, virus protection, and the like,” said Hope. “They’re also substantially reducing the costs involved in maintaining and upgrading software licenses, and cloud-based applications are often easier to set up and use.

”Introstat has just taken the wraps off a new array of hosted services for the SMB market, which Hope says will allow local SMBS to choose which pieces of software they license, while renting other software as and when they need it.

The first pillar of the Introstat offering that will be coming to market is Hosted Exchange and Archiving with Office on Demand, which is the rental of Microsoft Office with a secure filing cabinet) and a scalable Hosted Backup offering coming shortly.

“Email has become one of the most frequently used business tools, with many customers relying on it more than their telephone to help them get through their work day,” says Hope. “However, it is no longer simply ‘having’ email that differentiates one company from the next. 

“It has become clear that businesses need to capitalise on the use of email that is becoming the key driver behind running effective and profitable operations. Hosted Exchange is an affordable, premium email service based on Microsoft Exchange Server technology, allowing small and medium businesses the ability to take advantage of full collaboration mail services such as Shared Calendaring, Public Folders, Global address books and more services that most big corporates use on a daily basis at a fraction of the price to in-house solutions.

“In addition bolt ons like archiving allow for full compliance and tamper proof email further enhancing productivity and feature rich services within the SME environment.”

JJ Milner, the managing director of Global Micro, says the software solutions available in the cloud today offer “incredible cost savings and higher levels of choice” than ever before to the smaller business.

“Before, customers would have to purchase a set amount of expensive licenses, adding to these costs as and when new staff were brought on board,” says Milner. “Today, with hosted cloud services, businesses can opt to license certain software, whilst ‘renting’ others.

”For many SMBs, simply resolving their software licensing issues is worth the move to the cloud. “Software licensing is a common asset to most businesses today and it’s critical that they ensure that the investment made into software is properly managed,” says Hope. “By talking to a trusted partner, local SMBs can have their entire licensed software environment managed, including strategic volume licensing purchases, licensing renewals and product information.”

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